A low rumble sounded from the northeast, and he raised his eyes heavenward. Over the horizon came a black speck that grew larger with each second. A helicopter! He waved his arms as the helicopter neared. It roared over him, circled back around, and descended near him until it hovered ten feet above the steep mountainside.
The door opened. A man stood in the opening and tossed a rope with a knotted end to the ground. “Climb on,” he shouted.
In his weakened state, Pat could barely stand. He clasped the rope and wrapped his legs around the knot, then closed his eyes and held on as tightly as he could. In a few minutes, strong hands hoisted him onto the helicopter floor.
“You can let go now,” he heard.
“Thanks for rescuing me,” Pat mumbled as he let go. He crawled to the nearest seat and pulled himself into it.
“What’re you doing out here?”
“Lost,” Pat said through chattering teeth.
“Then we’ll just have to get you unlost,” the man said. With one step he returned to the copilot seat in the front.
The command pilot never turned around, but Pat could see he was no ordinary man.
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